…on feeling insecure

Me: Hiding in my room
by Chatting at The Sky

I always feel a little sad after returning from conferences. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Blissdom. I had a great time!

But let’s be honest, conferences can bring out the best and worst of our self-esteem and self-confidence, can’t they? I can sit up in front of 250 women and speak about successful blogging and then want to run to my room and hide during lunch. And want to shut down my blog by the time I get home.

While I really enjoyed the conference last year too, I felt a little sad during and after my first Blissdom experience –  it was not easy to go into a group of women I didn’t know and feel like an outsider. It was scary!  I’m not the most outgoing or popular person at events so it is kind of a bittersweet experience for me.

This year was better, because I know more people. But still it can feel like you are in the shadows of the popular girls or popular blogs, waiting in the wings for their fans to clear, feeling invisible. I hear that from people, and I feel it myself. It is no one’s fault (although some people tend to promote others to “celebrity” status when really, we are all just women.)

I still only really know a short list of people in blogland, so I tend to cling to them like a security blanket. I guess people could think that is cliquish but really it is just an insecurity thing — it is scary to walk into a group of women alone! I am so grateful I have invested the time to make some good friends online.

I enjoy getting to know my friends better at these conferences since most of our friendship is conducted through writing.  Being able to hear them laugh, hug them and get to know them in real life this year is the highlight of Blissdom.

I almost didn’t go to Blissdom this year. I was afraid of those feelings of insecurity. It is easier to stay home and not face that. But, I decided to muster up my courage and go again — and I am glad I did. Each time I try to break out of my comfort zone (which is basically to hide behind my computer screen), I learn a little bit more about myself. The good and the bad. By confronting my fears, I am challenged to work on the stuff I can overcome. And by putting myself out there, I become more aware of what I need to accept about myself.

I have highs and lows at Blissdom. From a pathetic attempt with one of my friends (NESTER) to meet a blogging giant (we ended up backing away looking like dorks, totally awkward and embarrassed — just ask Emily at Chatting at the Sky, she saw it. LOL) to sitting across from other bloggers just having a conversation and feeling like I had found “my people” — there are a wide range of emotions and experiences at a conference like that!

Mostly I try to think like this: life is what you make of it. Each time I muster up my courage to put myself out there, there is a risk. I might be hurt. I might feel left out. I might make a fool of myself. People might hate me. Mean people might say mean things about me. I might feel like quitting. But if I don’t try, I won’t learn. I won’t grow. I won’t connect at all.

Connecting takes time. And it is a two way street — if you were intimidated to meet someone at Blissdom, chances are that person was intimidated by someone as well. We need to be brave and reach out (even if we end up backing away looking like a fool, LOL). You might have to connect with a lot of people to eventually find “your people.” And you might have to connect with someone more than once and on more levels before you sense you are friends and before you feel like you BELONG.

If you leave a conference feeling insecure or disconnected, don’t give up. More women feel that way than you probably realize.

Reach out and try again.

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Comments

  1. You mean I’m not the only one?! ;) You should have seen my friends coaxing me into the Thursday night cocktail party. Not one of my finer moments!
    .-= Amy @ Finer Things´s last blog ..Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas =-.

  2. My goodness I love your honesty and your willingness to share it. I have been there and done that …I hope they liked me thing …lol
    I can tell by your writing that you are doing great and it will only get more awesome for you as time marches on.
    Be true to yourself and a good friend to those who need you.
    You are a darling.
    Hugs,
    Teresa
    The Pocket Diva

  3. I love you, Melissa! And I love your heart & I’m SO very glad you came to Blissdom again. You rock! And I seriously can NOT imagine who you could have been too intimidated to meet. Remember last year when we told you that YOU are the intimidating one? LOL But seriously, I know *exactly* what you mean in every single word of this post. I tend to cling to who I know as well. I did much better this year with the whole, “Hi, I’m Malia!”, stick my hand out to shake or hand out a business card thing. But it’s still hard.

  4. melissa stover says:

    this is so great. i love real posts like these (i had no idea you didn’t put these in your reader–came from twitter). i waiver back and forth (more so after type a mom than blissdom) but i really felt accepted at blissdom (thanks to you and your group). it was incredible to be with so many people who do the same thing that i do and understand what it is to write a blog. i love the exchange of ideas, the new inspiration that comes after something like that. but i totally understand the insecurity.
    .-= melissa stover´s last blog ..A cold, dreary photo walk =-.

  5. I am so glad you posted this, so many will identify with your feelings from last year, and from this year. I will be linking to your post, because I know it speaks to everyone. *HUGS* for your bravery and eloquence!
    .-= Frelle´s last blog ..Initial Impressions of Blissdom 10 =-.

  6. I had NO idea you felt this way. If it wasn’t for Maggie, I wouldn’t have had the nerve to say hi. But I’m so glad I had a small opportunity to chat with you guys. ;-)
    .-= Jenny86753oh9´s last blog ..WW – Now say Chubby Bunny! =-.

  7. I’m glad we were able to meet at BlissDom. The (in)courage breakfast was so nice. I completely understand your feelings. {how’s that for disconnected?}
    .-= Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home´s last blog ..Taking Our Flat Friends to BlissDom =-.

  8. I always say we are just all geeky gals behind our laptops.

    I love you, Lady.

    LOVE.

    Love.
    .-= Alli´s last blog .. =-.

  9. I’m SO glad I got to meet you this year (how did I not meet you last year? I”m not sure!).

    A straight-to-the-core introvert, sometimes things like this are difficult for me, but I have been pretty lucky both years I’ve attended Blissdom that I have yet to stumble over a bad apple in the bunch. Though I wish I had pushed myself further to meet more people, the ones I did meet? I adored ‘em. All of ‘em.
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Top Five Things I Learned This Weekend That Have NOTHING To Do With Blogging =-.

  10. Girl,

    Your smiling face is one of the highlights of my Blissdom. You exude sweetness and grace to my bumbling loudness and I adore you.

    LOVE.

  11. GREAT post, friend! I loved meeting you and am so glad you went once again. I can’t imagine not knowing the lovely person from this blog in real life!!! : )
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..CONDO2CASTLE: Embrace Your Walls =-.

  12. Melissa…

    Simply… you are soul beautiful.

    This post… you speak my language! I have never attended a blog conference… and here you bravely, transparently, encapsulate some of the concerns of a dyed-in-the-wool introvert whose neck breaks out in nerve blotches when in groups .

    You have no idea how many women you blessed with these words — and made them feel stronger, more courageous.

    I look forward to meeting you at Relevant, Lord willing, sweet friend…

    All’s grace,
    Ann
    .-= Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience´s last blog ..How The Work You Do Today Can Last Forever =-.

  13. What a great and honest post! I have not gone, yet. But, I will be there next year!! I say that, but at the same time, I am terrified of going. I am not good in the big room with lots of people. So, I totally related to this post.
    I will look for you next year, and have the courage to say hello!
    .-= Lisa@blessedwithgrace´s last blog ..On the Move…again…. =-.

  14. What a fantastic post!!! And you know what – that is exactly why I didn’t go this year! haha! I got weirded out last year. And anxiety got the best of me – which seems to happen alot during these situations. I’m soooo glad to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I am a baby in the blog world and I didn’t attend Blissdom. But I am hoping to be able to go to Relevant, and I already know that I will feel just the way you have. Thank you for sharing this!

  16. Melissa, I was so glad to have you and Emily and Sandy there. I’m so impressed with all the people who actually come to blissdom by themselves, without a sister and best bloggy friends. They are my heroes.

    It’s also nice to have someone to share your foot in the mouth embarrassing moments, thank you so much for accepting me as I am. I’ve already sent out two apology emails for my dorkieness/poor choice of words and have one more at least to go.

    I’m so glad you wrote more about the realness of our experiences and truth about our expectations. And also about us backing away from the beautiful, kind, blogstar. At least we can laugh at ourselves.
    .-= The Nester´s last blog ..Lessons Learned From Houses Past =-.

    • Seriously, you were lucky to have your sister there. And I was lucky to have you there. I am also impressed with the ones who came there alone and yet joined right in the conversations, came to our room to chat or just mustered up their courage to reach out their hand and say hi. Heroes, yes totally.

      I heart you. Laughing until my sides hurt was definitely a highlight of Blissdom. Even though we were laughing at ourselves and our dorkiness.

  17. I worked up the nerve to say, “Hi, Melissa!” And that was about it. *snort*

    This post spoke to my heart and said what my heart feels, but I can’t always express with words. Thank you!
    .-= Ruthanne´s last blog ..My {Slacker} Blissdom Recap =-.

  18. Thanks for posting this, Melissa. I think most of those close to me at Blissdom know I was on a rollercoaster of emotions for most of it. It’s exciting, scary, fun, and terrifying. I loved it and I loved meeting the people I admire, including you. I had moments of never wanting to blog again and other moments that I couldn’t wait to blog something. Since getting back, I have simply been silent. I shared my photos and since then just don’t really know what to do. It is really easy to feel like everyone is already doing, saying, crafting, decorating, and sharing so what’s the point? And it was really easy to just get comfy with a few people and stick there. I was glad to be welcomed wherever I tried to participate, and I felt grateful that everyone really was so warm and wonderful. But it’s still easy to ride the rollercoaster and be insecure.

    I landed in Nashville on Thursday and knew no one. There was a lot going on and I am so glad I did it, but it sure wasn’t easy.
    .-= Emily@remodelingthislife´s last blog ..Blissful =-.

    • Yes, Emily. I think about that quiet often. WHY do I blog when there are PLENTY of others who can talk about these things with much greater creativity and eloquence than I can? Blogland can feel like a loud conference full of amazing women. But like I said in my post here ( http://theinspiredroom.net/2010/02/10/the-best-home-blogs-and-decorators/ ) we all have a place.

      My place online is not to be the best, it is just to be ME. I really feel that way. And it was more than an honor for me to meet you. I’ve always known you were a great lady and Blissdom proved it. Nerves and all! :-) But you were SO BRAVE to come hang out in our room. Not many people are brave enough to subject themselves to our craziness.

  19. Hi Melissa!

    Oh, thank you for writing this post :)
    It is strange how we ALL felt so many things – I can totally relate to you. I had SUCH a great time at Blissdom, yet I wanted to open my head up and wash it with a big dish of soapy water – to get all the overwhelm out of my head !

    But I looked for you after the graphic design workshop – when I saw your blog and learned that you are somewhere near Seattle too – but had no idea where to find you :(

    I look forward to seeing you sometime :)

    @thinkmaya

  20. This post really hit home for me!!! I did a lot of backing away like a fool…and quite a bit of time hiding, staring at my shoes.

    I’m not an out-going person unless I’m comfortable, so it took me a few days to come out of my shell! But the way I see it, I also feel blessed that I was able to meet some of my favorite bloggers/twitter friends…including you!!! :)
    .-= Muthering Heights´s last blog ..Interrupted? =-.

  21. I could have written that exact same post. I knew people felt the same way I did too. I was intimidated to hang out with you because you were bigger and more experienced so I hung out with my few girls too. It is UH-MAZING that we all are insecure at the core. I can’t imagine anyone saying “I was in my element and loved every minute of it, no one intimidates me.” I bet we all had “pep talks” going on in our heads saying, “Ok girl you can do it one foot in front of the other.” It took me an hour and a half to come up to the home blogger table on Thursday night. I am chicken at the core ;-)

  22. This post allowed me to take a deep breath and exhale in a way I haven’t done since leaving the conference. Many times at Blissdom (though I truly adored the experience) I found myself feeling a little lonely. I would stand at the door of a room, realizing that I knew so many people, but feeling a bit outside of the experience – wondering if I should approach someone new – did they look too ‘into’ a conversation, would they be ‘bothered’ by a new face? Too often I continued to stand, hesitating too long in the approach and finding it easier to smile as I look around, rather than walking up and sitting down.

    I have a post on this somewhere in my heart, but haven’t been able to articulate it yet. And yet, you did so just beautifully.

    I am happy to finally connect your amazing online voice with your gorgeous face.

  23. I can totally relate to this post. I actually flat out told Nester and Emily, “I’m feeling really insecure.”

    Yes…
    .-= Gussy´s last blog ..{my Gussy baby} =-.

  24. To Think Is To Create says:

    Yes yes yes.

    Heart you so much. Wish we had more time for quiet convo, hoping to be at Relevant and get that.

    xoxo

    Ari
    .-= To Think Is To Create´s last blog ..A Star Hung On My Soul Sky =-.

  25. I understand what you mean and honestly, hearing that from someone who I was so nervous to go and meet myself it is kinda a relief. It is good to know that it isn’t just me! There were a lot of times that I felt like I was just hanging on to other peoples groups because I didn’t know anyone in person there. But I seriously cannot believe how kind everyone was. There was no one that I met that seemed too full of them self. Granted I didn’t meet everyone, but the kindness helped drown out all those mean voices that told me I didn’t belong in the same room with all the “real” bloggers!
    .-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Words of Love … =-.

  26. Melissa,
    I am convinced you wrote this post for me. I was at Blissdom this year and had a great time but as I reflect I am so sad I didn’t take the opportunity to reach out and meet you and so many others. I can’t wait until next year. I will put my fears aside and proudly wear my badge of courage.

    On a side note….I would love to connect with you sometime. My husband (and our family) just started a church in September, 2009. He had been the senior pastor of a small country church in Ohio, the men’s pastor at a huge church in the Twin Cities, and now started a new church in Indiana. I need some love and support from someone outside my four walls. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this post. Just what I needed tonight.

    Blessings,
    Molly

  27. Great post. I appreciate your honesty and that you can find the words to write this. I can never come up with words! I feel like I’m all over the place with my various blogs… so where do I belong? I made it my goal to meet all types of bloggers this year and it was a lot of fun. I think making those connections outside of my niche was so worth it. I also tried to talk to those who were standing off by themselves since that was me last year. I like what you said about us all being just women. Love it!
    .-= Amy @ Living Locurto´s last blog ..Lisa Leonard Designs =-.

    • Amy,
      I met so many different kinds of bloggers this year too. I think that is one of the things that got me interested in blogging in the first place — how many different types of creative blogs there were. And it is the same in person, so many unique but interesting women!
      I worked at that too, going up to people sitting or standing alone. I’ve been there too and it sure helps to have someone strike up a conversation and break the ice!
      .-= melissa @ the inspired room´s last blog ..Valentine’s Day Ideas: Step Aside, Pioneer Woman =-.

  28. My dad was the pastor of the one of the largest churches in our city when I was growing up, so I always felt like I was in the spotlight. It was really hard for a shy little girl like me to deal with it. When we were at church I would hang my head, avoid eye-contact, and look for corners to hide in. I frequently had “stomach aches” on Sunday mornings and begged to stay home.

    One day my mom pulled me aside and told me, “It’s okay to feel shy. What’s not okay is to make other people uncomfortable because of it.”

    That has stuck with me all these years and it really comes in handy when I’m facing something as daunting as Blissdom. If you try to think about others and making them feel welcome instead of worrying about your own shyness, it really helps! I’m trying to teach my (very, VERY shy) daughter that now, but she’s still skeptical. Ha.

    I made several great new friends this year by sitting down at tables where I didn’t know anyone and striking up a conversation. My mom would be so proud. :-)
    .-= Julia @ Hooked on Houses´s last blog ..Home {Sweet} Home: A Valentine =-.

    • Good for you Julia! I was trying that too this year, I would see someone at a party or in the hall just sitting there by themselves and I started a conversation and ended up making a new friend.

      It didn’t necessarily feel natural to me since I am not as outgoing as I’d like, but like you said I wrestle with myself at those moments. I see them sitting there alone and make the choice to overcome my own insecurity and reach out because I know they are struggling at that moment even more than I am.

      I have to face this insecurity and reach out a lot more these days as a pastor’s wife! No more excuses of shyness! The more I reach out the more confident I start to feel in life. It isn’t easy but I agree with you, it isn’t an option!

      I’ve learned SO much about myself in the past few years. I am much more confident than I used to be. That is part of the growing process, and why I keep putting myself out there trying to learn these lessons!
      .-= melissa @ the inspired room´s last blog ..Valentine’s Day Ideas: Step Aside, Pioneer Woman =-.

  29. Hi Melissa. I loved this post and felt like it was written specifically for me. I was at Blissdom this year and had a wonderful time, but as I reflect I am a little sad I didn’t have the guts to chat with you and many others. I hope to be able to attend next year, meet you, and proudly wear my badge of courage.

    I am also a pastor’s wife and would love to bend your ear sometime. We just started a new church in September, 2009 and I need some love and support outside my four walls. :)

    Thanks for your honesty. You are amazing.

    Blessings,
    Molly

  30. Hi, I did not attend Blissdom, but I have some help for you! I actually thought you were going to talk about ‘this’, but was amazed at all of the comments and yourself (and myself) of the insecurities we have. Guess what? Beth Moore’s (LOVE HER) newest book is on INSECURITIES!!! It is called So Long Insecurities. I will be buying this soon. You may have already known that, but I thought I’d pass it along just in case you didn’t. It’s bound to be awesome. Who know’s, me and my little blog might come out next year after reading it!

  31. I know your post was specific to making friends at conferences but I found it very encouraging in another way. I have trouble making friends in general due to my insecurities. It was nice to hear that there are others who feel insecure as well. This post came at a perfect time for me as I was beginning to be a little down about a similar subject. Thank you for having the courage to share with us!

  32. My first conference…completely OUT of my comfort zone too cuz I’m a nerdy, loner geek…but glad I made the effort :)
    .-= ReadingRosie´s last blog ..Blissdom 10 – Part 2: Surprise Inspirations! =-.

  33. Melissa,

    Oh, how I love your transparency here. There are many of us out here who think YOU are a blogging giant and would probably shrink away at the thought of meeting you in person. So, thank you for making us know that you are just one of us…. a real person …LOL. Not that we really didn’t think you were, but it is so refreshing to find humility here on this big ol’ WWW. You never fail to INSPIRE!

    Blessings,
    Christi
    .-= Christi at Charm & Grace´s last blog ..Calling all who loved the original Victoria magazine =-.

  34. How did I miss this wonderful post? I was so fantastic to be there with you and Sandy and my sister. So comfortable and safe. Thank you for being that for me. You have said so well what everyone feels. This year was better, but I’m with you: It would be hard to go without my people.
    .-= emily´s last blog ..wrapping up tuesday gifts =-.

  35. Your honesty is so refreshing. It’s funny, a lot of times when we have those insecurities nobody else even notices, you know? Your point is totally on point! I’m sure everyone loved you!

    Kelly
    .-= Kelly@TearingUpHouses´s last blog ..Miss America =-.

  36. You were trying to seek out the courage to meet me, weren’t you?
    Bwahhhaaaaaa!
    So Looking forward to seeing you again. Can I come hide out with you sometime?
    QuatroMama recently posted..Surviving Snow Days- How to Make Snow Ice CreamMy Profile

  37. JennaFarelyn says:

    I just tweeted and tagged you in it, quoting a line from the middle of this post. It seemed so important that I needed to go and paste it to the #Blissdom hashtag right now.

    You were incredibly brave to share what you did here, and I am glad to know more about you. I will come introduce myself at the conference :)

  38. Hey Melissa :) I’m so glad you did this post…I feel so intimidated by the “celebrity” bloggers and I don’t know why…they too, had just 300 followers at one point.(just got my 300th yesterday!) No one is better than anyone else…we just tend to fall into the age old “high school” sydrome, where we don’t feel like one of the “popular” girls. I’m not going to get to go to Blissdom this year, but am hoping to go next year. If I see you, I’ll say hi…I’ll try not to run away and be intimidated. Like you said, “we are all just women after all”. :)
    Hugs to you!
    Missy :)
    Missy recently posted..Valentines Mantel…oooo la laMy Profile

  39. And here is the Blissdom post that truly grabs my heart. I have an extra suitcase I’m bringing, just for insecurity, and a backpack too. My insecurity even has business cards – and they’re much better than mine!

    I feel like so many others, like I wrote much of this myself, like “not easy to go into a group of women I didn’t know and feel like an outsider.”

    Thank you for this – just really, thank you.

    God Bless and keep you and yours.

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  1. [...] this post is shared via my INSPIRED! page and does not show up in the RSS feed or on the home page If you would like to read another post about Blissdom (on feeling insecure) click here! [...]

  2. [...] Here are the Behind the scenes! links to check out: “Home Bloggers” and “…on being insecure” [...]

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